Literature contains different definitions of a Warehouse Management System (WMS). This might be justified by the constant developments of the application.

The core of a WMS is a system-based management of quantities and locations (storage locations) and their relationship. It can be realised manually as well as software supported. Whereas nowadays the software support is more common.

The WMS also includes additional functions - such as the management of transport systems. A Warehouse Management System thus reconstructs an inventory management system (cf. Hompel, Michael; Schmidt, Thosten 2010, S. 8)
It also supports the planning, management, coordination, control and optimization of the flow of goods from a complex warehouse and distribution systems. It also takes care of the production and / or distribution. (cf. Martin, Henry 2009, p 499)

In addition, a WMS includes the following areas:
"According to this view, there are besides the elementary function - such as quantity and storage location management, funds control and scheduling- the extensive methods and means for the control of the system states and a range of operational and optimizational strategies part of the specification." (Hompel, Michael, Schmidt, Thosten 2010, p 8)